B-152735, NOV. 27, 1963

B-152735: Nov 27, 1963

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WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 29. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE FROM ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE. WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 31. SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER OVERSEAS POST. IF LEAVE IS TAKEN AT ANOTHER LOCATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES (THE 50 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA). OR OTHER COUNTRY IN WHICH THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED. IS FOR PURPOSES OF RETURNING OVERSEAS EMPLOYEES TO THEIR HOMELAND FOR THE TAKING OF LEAVE THEREAT REASONABLY MAY NOT BE EXTENDED TO THE MERE STOPPING OFF OF AN EMPLOYEE AT OR NEAR HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AS.

B-152735, NOV. 27, 1963

TO MR. HENRY P. LANG, U.S. ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, ALASKA:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 29, 1963.

YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE FROM ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, ALASKA, TO OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA. THE ORDERS DID NOT SPECIFY AN ALTERNATE LOCATION, BUT YOU HAD REQUESTED DANBURY, CONNECTICUT, AS AN ALTERNATE LOCATION.

YOU LEFT ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, ON JUNE 24, 1962, AND WENT TO SCOTLAND TO ATTEND SUMMER COURSES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH. YOU LEFT GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, ON AUGUST 13, 1962, AND ARRIVED AT PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, THE SAME DAY. YOU VISITED YOUR MOTHER AT INDIANA, PENNSYLVANIA, AND LEFT FOR ANCHORAGE FROM PITTSBURGH ON AUGUST 15, 1962, ARRIVING IN ANCHORAGE ON AUGUST 16, 1962.

SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 808, WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, 5 U.S.C. 73B 3, TO PROVIDE IN PERTINENT PART THAT:

"* * * THAT EXPENSES OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEE AND TRANSPORTATION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY BUT EXCLUDING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO SUCH OVERSEAS POSTS OF DUTY, SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER OVERSEAS POST, UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST * *

SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE DATE JUNE 1, 1962, WHICH CONTAINS REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE STATUTE, PROVIDES IN PART THAT:

"4.2 TRAVEL ALLOWANCE. AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ALLOWED TRAVEL EXPENSES, INCLUDING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, FOR HIMSELF AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM HIS POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO A POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO IN THIS SECTION AND IN SECTION 5 AS "PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE"). THESE EXPENSES SHALL ALSO BE ALLOWED FROM THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE UPON RETURN TO THE SAME OR ANOTHER POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THESE EXPENSES SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IF LEAVE IS TAKEN AT ANOTHER LOCATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES (THE 50 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA), A TERRITORY, POSSESSION, OR OTHER COUNTRY IN WHICH THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED, THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES SHALL NOT EXCEED THOSE ALLOWED OVER A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE POST OF DUTY AND SUCH PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AND RETURN TO THE SAME OR A DIFFERENT POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.'

ANOTHER PART OF THE REGULATION DEFINES "CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" AS MEANING THE FORMER 48 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE ABOVE REGULATIONS PERMIT PAYMENT OF REEMPLOYMENT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE COUNTRY, TERRITORY, OR POSSESSION OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE. HOWEVER, AS STATED IN 41 COMP. GEN. 146, THE PRINCIPLE THAT ALLOWABLE TRAVEL, UNDER THE STATUTE, IS FOR PURPOSES OF RETURNING OVERSEAS EMPLOYEES TO THEIR HOMELAND FOR THE TAKING OF LEAVE THEREAT REASONABLY MAY NOT BE EXTENDED TO THE MERE STOPPING OFF OF AN EMPLOYEE AT OR NEAR HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AS, IN THAT CASE, AN INCIDENT OF A GLOBAL TOUR.

YOU URGE THAT YOUR TRAVEL WAS NOT A TOUR SINCE YOU ATTENDED SCHOOL IN SCOTLAND. WE DO NOT REGARD THE FACT THAT YOU ATTENDED COURSES IN SCOTLAND TO BE RELEVANT. TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED BY THE QUOTED PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 73B-3 AND THE REGULATIONS TO ENABLE AN EMPLOYEE TO TAKE LEAVE AT, OR IN THE COUNTRY, TERRITORY, OR POSSESSION OF, HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE, NOT TO ENABLE AN EMPLOYEE TO PURSUE FURTHER EDUCATION. YOUR TRIP WAS MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRAVEL AND STUDY ABROAD, NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES (EXCLUDING ALASKA) IN WHICH YOUR ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED. YOUR BRIEF STOPOVER IN PENNSYLVANIA TO VISIT YOUR MOTHER DOES NOT ALTER THE PURPOSE OF YOUR TRIP. ALSO, THE FACT THAT THE LEAVE TIME AVAILABLE FOR YOUR USE DID NOT PERMIT A LONGER VISIT WITH HER BECAUSE YOU COULD NOT BE SPARED FOR A LONGER TIME FROM YOUR OFFICE IS NOT PERTINENT SINCE THE AMOUNT OF LEAVE TIME AVAILABLE WAS KNOWN TO YOU BEFORE YOU LEFT ALASKA AND YOUR USE OF THE TIME WAS A MATTER OF PERSONAL CHOICE. THEREFORE, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISIONS OF THE LAW AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS, AND THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IS HEREBY SUSTAINED. 41 COMP. GEN. 146; B-148858, MAY 24, 1963.

IN REGARD TO YOUR QUESTION REGARDING YOUR NEXT PROCEDURAL STEP IN THE EVENT OF OUR SUSTAINING THE DENIAL OF YOUR CLAIM, THE DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE ARE BINDING AND CONCLUSIVE ON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT (31 U.S.C. 74). IF YOU WISH, HOWEVER, YOU MAY PURSUE YOUR CLAIM FURTHER BY FILING SUIT IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS, WASHINGTON, D.C. ..END :